Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Columbus

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and of course – fireworks! While last year most firework shows and celebrations had to be called off due to the pandemic, this year, some celebrations are able to return. Read on to see what’s happening around Columbus this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Doo Dah Parade

This longstanding Columbus tradition is back for its 38th year! The Doo Dah Mask’erade Parade celebrates free speech in an over-the-top, satirical way. There will be free live music from noon to 7:30 pm and anyone can march in the parade (for free!). Just follow three simple rules: no nudity, no advertisements, and all politicians must wear silly hats. Line-up begins at noon and the national anthem will be sung at 1 pm. Social distancing will be followed.

Nelson Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Nelson Park, which has picnic areas and grills. There’s also plenty to keep the family occupied during the day, with lots of green space for kids to run around, playgrounds, athletic courts, and trails.

See a Play

The Actor’s Theatre of Columbus is presenting free Shakespeare in Schiller Park (donations are appreciated). They perform on the Amphitheatre Stage at 8 pm, Thursday thru Sunday, weather-permitting. Running over July 4th weekend is The African Company’s rendition of Richard III, an all-Black version of the show that, “understands that “classic” does not always mean white; [that] understands that smart, creative Black people will always overcome when pushed to the brink.”

Go Camping

Summer is the perfect time to embrace the Great Outdoors. Spend the weekend camping at Buckeye Lake KOA campground! If you don’t have a tent or RV, don’t worry, because they also have cabin rentals. And either way, you’ll be spending the weekend in luxury with access to clean restrooms, Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour laundry room. There’s plenty of fun things to do there to get the whole family having fun in the sun, including a pool, basketball hoops, mini-golf, shuffleboard, and a playground! They’ll also be having a celebration over Fourth of July Weekend, which includes a decorated bicycle and golf cart parade, crafts, and more!

Public Pools

Cooling off in a swimming pool is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and Columbus conveniently has eight outdoor public swimming pools where you can easily do that! Normally you need a leisure card to visit the pool, but for summer 2021, admission to all pools will be free! You just need to register for one of the three daily Open Swim time blocks ahead of time (capacity is limited to promote social distancing). If you want to go on July 4th, three of the locations will be open for two time blocks. More information and locations can be found here.

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